General Question

augustlan's avatar

What would cause a new computer to not accept software installs and uninstalls?

Asked by augustlan (46577 points ) October 3rd, 2009

My father-in-law bought a new HP computer (Vista Home Premium) and it will not accept software installs, won’t uninstall, and wouldn’t allow him to create a backup recovery disk either. He took it back to Best Buy, but they can’t see anything wrong with it (though it won’t work for them either). This computer is not even a month old.

They’ve suggested he call HP and buy a systems recovery disk. Is there anything we should try before he does that?

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8 Answers

TheIncomparableBenziniBrothers's avatar

It sounds like he logged in with the “Guest” account instead of the “Administrator” account. In order to install or uninstall, he needs the proper privileges to do so. When he first turned on the computer he would have been prompted to enter an Administratrator password. He should try switching to that account using the “User Accounts” menu in the control panel.

dpworkin's avatar

The above is a good answer. To take it a step farther, if he is logged on as administrator, have him check the ownership policies on the files he is trying to alter.

augustlan's avatar

Right now the computer is at Best Buy, but when he gets it back, how would he figure out if he’s the admin? He is not super familiar with computers.

dpworkin's avatar

In “Control Panel”, there is a choice for “User Accounts”. He can use that applet to see and modify user accounts and their permissions. If you would like me to walk him through the process, PM me.

augustlan's avatar

@pdworkin Thanks! I’ll let you know if he needs help. He won’t get the computer back till later today.

@TheIncomparableBenziniBrothers Thanks for pointing us in that direction! Welcome to Fluther.

augustlan's avatar

Ok, he checked, and he is the administrator. Any other ideas?

dpworkin's avatar

Has he checked the properties of the files and/or folders he is trying to alter to determine what the current ownership and permissions are? He may have to edit the permissions as administrator, or “take ownership” of the files and folders. He can do this globally by changing the properties of C: and taking ownership of all folders and sub-folders.

Charles's avatar

Trying to install 32 bit (OR linux or Mac) apps on a 64 bit machine?
Is the app in a disk image format (like something.iso) which needs to first be mounted?
Is the app zip or rar?
Trying to install to a place he, even as admin, doesn’t have write access to?
Not enough disk space?
Corrupted source file?
All Windows Updates installed?
Possibly Flash or Active X or Silverlight missing?

What (error) message is the user getting when he tries to install?? What does “it will not accept software installs” mean?

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